PlayStation Portal gets its biggest free upgrade yet – helps you play PS5 games on the go

New system software arrives with some neat new features

PlayStation Portal review image
(Image credit: Rik Henderson / Future)
Quick Summary

Sony has rolled out a system software update for the PlayStation Portal.

Among the fixes and new features is the ability to sign into hotel and other public Wi-Fi networks that require additional verification methods.

The PlayStation Portal has surpassed everyone's expectations, even Sony's. Only recently has stock become readily available, it's sold out that quickly in the past. And owners often wax lyrical about being able to play their PS5 games when others are in charge of the TV.

However, one area of consternation has been on its capabilities outside the home. While possible, streaming games onto the Portal via an external internet connection has proved a mostly flaky experience. It works, but not ideally.

That's why Sony's latest major system software upgrade is a godsend – it adds several new features and tricks, including improved public Wi-Fi support.

Rolling out now, the over-the-air update enables owners to sign into public wireless networks that required additional validation steps. The Portal could already access password entry, but many hotels, cafes and other locations also have their own sign-in screens. It was not possible to circumnavigate these before.

Cleverly, Sony has now implemented a system whereby the PS Portal will hand over sign-in duties to your smartphone. You just scan a QR code on the Portal and use your handset to enter the relevant details.

Wi-Fi connectivity hasn't been tweaked any, so you'll still need to ensure the public network has at least 5Mbps speeds (15Mbps ideally), but at least you can now sign in pretty much everywhere you go.

Other new PlayStation Portal features

Also new with the update is visual feedback on the virtual touchpad that appears on the Portal's 8-inch screen. You can now see what you're doing on the touchpad that pops up on the display.

And the device now offers the ability to display battery level in an easy to read percentage. You just need to head to the battery menu in the system settings and turn it on.

That's about it for now. There's still no sign of PS Plus cloud gaming support as yet (our most wished for feature), but hopefully that'll arrive sometime in the future.

For now, the PlayStation Portal continues to be one of the best accessories for the PlayStation 5 and we can't wait to find out what else is in store for it in the coming months.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.